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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Cellpoint Flamingo Bluetooth wireless headset review:

Cellpoint Flamingo Bluetooth wireless headset

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The Good Slick design; comfortable fit; clear audio quality.

The Bad Fits on only the right ear; hard to put on; small control button.

The Bottom Line Cellpoint's Flamingo headset has a sharp design and adequate audio quality, but we wish it were easier to use.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.0 Overall

We're not really sure why Cellpoint has chosen to call its newest headset the Flamingo. It's not pink, and it doesn't look like it would belong in a gaudy South Beach nightclub. Our only guess is that the round head and the long, thin boom mic could vaguely resemble a flamingo--but even that is a stretch. That said, we like the headset's sleek design, and we appreciate its cool silver color. When wearing the Flamingo, you won't look too conspicuous, and you get a lanyard to secure it around your neck. At $129, though, it's far pricier than most Bluetooth headsets.

As for the headset's fit, we'll give you the good news first. Once you get it on, it's surprisingly comfortable and light (0.35 ounces), and we like that there's no protruding earpiece. It's also reasonably secure, as it's held to your ear by a two-prong rubber EarClick, which comes in six sizes. The EarClicks, however, can also prove to be a source of frustration. Putting on the Flamingo took several attempts the first time, and we eventually had to use a mirror. Once you get the hang of it, you'll find that it's best to tilt the headset so that the EarClick fastens to your outer ear canal like the Bluespoon Bluetooth headset, but it'll still take a couple tries for you to secure it. Another downer is that the Flamingo fits in only your right ear.

Controls on the Flamingo consisted of a thin volume rocker and a tiny control button, both of which are on the boom mic and are easy enough to figure out. The volume rocker naturally controls the sound level but also is used to mute calls (a unique feature), toggle calls between the headset and the phone, and redial the last number. On the other hand, the control button is used to accept and end calls and for voice dialing. You're supposed to be able to reject calls by pressing the button for a few seconds, but we were never able to do it correctly. Instead, we ended up disconnecting the pairing to the phone. We found that using the controls while wearing the headset was a mixed bag. The volume rocker was easy to find, but we had trouble locating the control button. Also, we had to steady the headset with our other hand since you have to press the button quite hard.

We tested the Flamingo with the Sony Ericsson S710a. Pairing the two devices was an easy process, as there is a tiny status LED to help you along. The Flamingo's audio quality was acceptable. We enjoyed clear conversation on our end, and the voices sounded natural. Volume was low at times, especially in windy situations, but it was nothing we couldn't live with. Callers said they could hear us fine, but our voice sounded somewhat robotic.

The Flamingo has a rated talk time of 8 hours and a promised standby time of 7.5 days, both of which we matched. It should be noted that the headset requires the use of a small charging base.

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